There are some very important people who hang out on Sage City Online: Sage customers and partners. Then, among the VIPs are other VIPs — very important posters, that is.
Almost every form of community has people who take up the mantel of leadership. We’re not talking about elected officials here (although sometimes they are one in the same). We’re talking about those who actively participate in their community and always willing to lend a hand or words of advice.
The Sage City Online community is made up of people in and around the Sage world who are there to help each other with problems and solutions for their software. Every Sage product is represented, from Sage One and Sage Live to Sage Construction and Real Estate and Sage X3.
Whether its in the Support area where partners and customers band together for others who are seeking technical advice, or the official Sage blogs (hey CRE folks … go read Plumb Bob Square Rants … it’s OK, I’ll wait ..), or the Town Hall where all things Sage and Business come together, Sage City provides the forum for people to help each other.
And the good news is the Sage City VIPs are bringing their talents to Chicago for the Sage City Roundtables at Sage Summit 2016 from July 26-28. And the even better news is that they’ll be doing exactly what they do at Sage City online: Discussing topics that are important to the Sage community.
What are the Sage City Roundtables?
This is the second year that Sage Summit has hosted the Sage City Roundtables, which are informal roundtable discussions on trending topics at Sage City online.
“We thought it would be great to bring the ‘online conversation’ to Sage Summit so we could interact in person,” said Jenn Fennell, the Senior Program Manager for Online Support and Learning Services for Sage. Or, as she’s affectionately known, the Sage City Sheriff. (She’s cleaning up this 1 Gig town, from what I understand.)
“We asked our Sage City VIPs to come up with topics they felt were of interest to folks in the community based on their expertise as well as what types of questions they see come through the forums,” said Derek Vink, the community manager for Sage City Online. And he should know — he’s the Mayor of Sage City.
As of right now, there are 47 Sage City Roundtable discussions for nine different Sage products (with a couple of general business topics) scheduled for Sage Summit 2016. And fear not: These are not topics like, “Sage Fixed Assets: Woo-hoo! You Totally Need to Buy This Product!” or “Sage 50 Accounting — U.S. Edition: An Overview of Things You Already Know.”
No, the Sage City Roundtable topics are meaningful subjects taken directly from the pages of Sage City Online, like:
- Sage 50 Accounting — Canadian Edition: Have you tried to connect to Sage View?
- Sage 100: Purchases clearing
- Sage X3: Inventory allocations shortages
- Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate: Share your ideas and challenges
If you want to see the entire list of the Sage City Roundtables, click here to download a PDF with the list of all the sessions with their session ID for easy registration. And make sure you register for these sessions — there’s a limited number of seats. (This just in! Jenn just told me there are now 60 Roundtable sessions! However, that PDF is the latest one Sage has. The sessions all have an “SC” designation in front of their session number, so you can use that to search for more of them.)
“The Roundtables are meant to be collaborative discussions, not ‘sit and listen sessions,’ ” Jenn said. “We are hoping attendees will exchange ideas and brainstorm solutions together based on their personal experience with each topic.”
And yes, the old elephant is sitting in the middle of this room as well: No, Sage doesn’t have a topic covering every product offering. (Hello, Sage 500 ERP, my old friend.) But that’s not for a lack of effort, Jenn said.
“For the products that are not represented, it simply means either none of the top contributors for that product line responded to our invitations or they responded after all our sessions were filled,” she said.
Who are the Sage City VIPs?
The Sage City Very Important Posters are a collection of Sage partners and Sage customers who are the most active leaders in their Sage communities on Sage City Online, which just celebrated its third anniversary.
“These are the people who answer the most questions every day in Sage City,” Jenn said. “Many of them — like ‘BigLouie’ and ‘Tom Target’ are well known throughout the community.”
These are two really good examples of the Sage City VIPs. “BigLouie” is Louis Araiza, the CFO of Global Valve and Controls in Houston. He’s worked with Sage products for more than 20 years and has been an active participant in various Sage online forums over the years. An original member of 90 Minds, Louis is sought out by Sage partners and customers for contract work for Sage 100.
“Tom Target” is another Sage 100 VIP, and has been a Sage partner since the 1980s. The president of Target System Technology in Spokane, Wash., Tom Rogers parlayed his CPA experience to become a Sage 100 partner who loves the support and customization aspects of the product.
Sage City Roundtables are important for everyone
The Sage City Roundtables are such a great idea for Sage Summit. I told the folks at Sage that these were exactly the type of sessions our customers are begging for. They want interaction. They want usefulness. They don’t want presentations that are just a rehash of demo videos they can see anytime.
Also, there is such a wealth of knowledge out there between all the Sage partners and Sage customers. Heck, Sage 300 CRE, formerly Sage Timberline, has been around for more than 40 years — and some companies have used it all this time! There’s no better people to spread the knowledge about Sage software products than the people who have their hands in them every day.
It’s also another example of how speaking up can get your voice heard by Sage. Keep asking for sessions like these, and Sage will listen. Keep helping others at Sage City Online, and Sage will listen. Keep bringing up issues and ideas about the products you use, and Sage will listen.